A Key Approach to Effective DRR: Transforming Western worldviews towards Indigenous worldviews

Petra Buergelt, Douglas Paton

Research output: Contribution to conferenceConference paper presented at Conference (not in Proceedings)

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Abstract

Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) education strategies that focus on imparting knowledge are largely ineffective in developing the capabilities and relationships required to reduce the risk of extreme natural events occurring and turning into disasters. We propose that this ineffectiveness derives from a prevailing totalitarian, positivistic and rational worldview in Western cultures that result in people defining relationships with nature in largely anthropocentric term. This worldview hinders people appreciating and understanding their interdependent and reciprocal relationship with nature, themselves and others and the natural sources of hazards. The ensuing disharmony with nature, themselves and others introduced into social-ecological relationships increases the risk of extreme natural events occurring and prevents Western cultures developing DRR strategies based on environmental co-existence. To stem this tide, humanity must urgently (re)establish harmonious co-existence relationships with nature, themselves and others. We propose that living in harmony/balance with nature represents a cost-effective approach to DRR as cultivates the individual and collective adaptive capabilities that reduces the risk of extreme natural events and contributes to both effective DRR and activities and relationships that facilitates well-being in everyday life. We identify challenges to people shifting towards a metaphysical, nature-based, unified and egalitarian worldview that facilitates living in harmony/balance with nature, themselves and others. We discuss how transformative pathways, including transformative education, (re)learning from Indigenous people, art and ancient healing systems, can facilitate the ability of Western cultures to engage in transformative processes. This shift in worldview may hold the key to both human survival and thriving.

Conference

Conference14th Association of Pacific Rim Universities (APRU) and International Research Institute of Disaster Science (IRIDeS) Multi-Hazards Symposium
CountryAustralia
CityCanberra
Period21/10/1824/10/18
Internet address

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    Buergelt, P., & Paton, D. (2018). A Key Approach to Effective DRR: Transforming Western worldviews towards Indigenous worldviews. Paper presented at 14th Association of Pacific Rim Universities (APRU) and International Research Institute of Disaster Science (IRIDeS) Multi-Hazards Symposium, Canberra , Australia.